Cyril Frank Howes

Birth Date:
00 dec 1891
Death Date:
16 nov 1971
Service Branch:
7th Battalion, The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
Service Number:

This is one of four stories about sibling members of a Howes family, compiled and contributed to by John Howes, the grandson of one of them.  The four siblings, all of whom had their lives profoundly affected by the war are (Peter) Frank Howes, Leonard William HowesCyril Frank Howes and Eleanor Margaret Howes. (Clicking on the names will take you to their stories).

Cyril suffered badly from shell shock from WWI and never recovered, even spending part of his post war time in an asylum. He was looked after and housed by his father and after his father’s death in 1950 by his sister for the remaining years of his life. In many respects a life lost as a result of the trauma of WWI. In the census return of 1911 he was living and working in Bournemouth, the results of the war placed him back in Norfolk.

Cyril Frank Howes was a Private in 7th Battalion, The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) which was raised at Guildford in September 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Second New Army and joined 55th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. The Division initially concentrated in the Colchester area but moved to Salisbury Plain in May 1915.

War Office: Service Medal and Award Rolls Index, First World War. Medal card of Howes, Cyril F Corps Regiment No Rank The Queen’s Regiment 1977 Private Labour Corps 652061 Private.

CFHMedal list

The date of 27 July 1915 signifies the first theatre of war in which he served and when he entered that theatre. So just four days after brother Frank. The regiment number 1977 corresponds to a surviving tag with his name on it.

The regiment proceeded to France in July and concentrated near Flesselles. In 1916 they were in action on The Somme in The Battle of Albert capturing their objectives near Montauban, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge including the capture of Trones Wood, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre Heights playing a part in the capture of the Schwaben Redoubt and Regina Trench and The Battle of the Ancre. In 1917 they took part in the Operations on the Ancre including Miraumont and the capture of Irles, they fought during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and in The Third Battle of the Scarpe before moving to Flanders. They were in action in The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck and The First and Second Battle of Passchendaele. In 1918 they saw action during The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of the Avre, The actions of Villers-Brettoneux, The Battle of Amiens and The Battle of Albert where the Division captured the Tara and Usna hills near La Boisselle and once again captured Trones Wood. They fought in The Second Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of the Selle and The Battle of the Sambre. At the Armistice the Division was in XIII Corps Reserve near Le Cateau and demobilisation began on the 10th of December 1918.

1914/15 Star


This bronze medal was authorized in 1918. It is very similar to the 1914 Star but it was issued to a much wider range of recipients. Broadly speaking it was awarded to all who served in any theatre of war against Germany between 5th August 1914 and 31st December 1915, except those eligible for the 1914 Star.

Like the 1914 Star, the 1914-15 Star was not awarded alone. The recipient had to have received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The reverse is plain with the recipient’s service number, rank, name and unit impressed on it.

An estimated 2.4 million of these medals were issued.

British War Medal


The British War Medal 1914-1920, authorised in 1919, was awarded to eligible service personnel and civilians. Qualifications for the award varied slightly according to service. The basic requirement for army personnel and civilians was that they either entered a theatre of war, or rendered approved service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Service in Russia in 1919 and 1920 also qualified for the award.

The recipient’s service number, rank, name and unit were impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal


It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon.The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory.

Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal (‘Squeak’) also received the Victory Medal (‘Wilfred’). However, in general, all recipients of ‘Wilfred’ also received ‘Squeak’ and all recipients of ‘Pip’ also received both ‘Squeak’ and ‘Wilfred’.

The recipient’s service number, rank, name and unit were impressed on the rim.

I am fortunate to have his medals.